Tag Archives: AAISP

A Gift from an ISP!

How many different ISP’s are there in the UK? – too many, really. However, There’s some very very bad ones, and there is also some very very good ones. I chose my ISP for many reasons, one of which was not cost. I am happy to pay extra for a better service, and a better service is what I have. There’s many things they do right, they enjoy doing it, and at least most of their customers are incredibly greatful for the quality of service they give.

Anyway, I got home from work today, and hanging in my letterbox was a package from my ISP (AAISP) I open it up, and they have sent me a gift, it is possibly common, or at least, was 10 years ago to send customers tea coasters in the form of a CD for their latest software (AOL). My gift is still a tea coaster, however it is actually a tea coaster, and not a CD. here’s what it looks like.

dscf1347

Well, I’m happy with my gift, partly because now I won’t get mug-rings on my desk anymore, and partly because of the comment written on it, which is very true, and why I don’t use NAT (if you don’t know how a network works, you probably have NAT!).

So this is to say Thanks to Adrian and the team at Andrews & Arnold.

(so you know, it is Laser engraved Welsh Slate)

UK Internet with BT 21CN

Well, I’ve not posted for a while. and there’s good reason too. I’m always a big fan of Technology, the way it’s moving and what it brings with it. The Internet is one of those things that has been moving relatively rapidly (though maybe not so much for the normal home-user). However with my ISP, I do get to test some nice connections (sometimes) and connect to test networks, with test routers and so on. I even run a router that I have written a bit of code for, so that I can run my IPv6, VPN links, Fail-over connections & some customised routes (including a tunnel system to have IPv6 on my laptop no matter where I am in the world).

Anyway, For those that don’t know, In the UK most of the lines are supplied by BT, This means if you want internet you can choose any supplier you want, but many of them will be using BT lines to your house, and BT equipment to hook it all up. This, however isn’t too bad, or rather, Wasn’t. BT have been rolling out their 21CN network, which I am connected to, this is supposed to be next generation ADSL, when it was first installed, it was OK, and around a month ago it became unusable. My ISP (AAISP) has been attacking BT regarding this problem, and I’m not alone with the problem, there seemed to be a number of people on my exchange that had the same problem. this is what I get on my line:

Jason Line Graph

The Green bars (going up) ar latency on the line, the higher that bar, the slower things are to respond.
The Red bars (going down) are loss on the line – the lower this bar the less things that get to you
The White is a line disconnect
and the green dots are download (from the internet), and reddish-brown is upload (to the internet)

As you can see, if I tried to download anything I got latency (went slow) packet loss (things just didn’t get to me) and line drops. not to mention my download speek was around 50K if I was lucky on a 4mb line. BT have access to these graphs, and persisted for a very long time that there was nothing wrong with the line. Anyway, a couple of nights ago, they admitted there was a problem, and nailed it down to a Cisco IOS bug in some of their routers, and they did some test work on my exchange / BRAS last night, this took them around 45 minutes and all of a sudden my line was alot better. and I could download at my full speed.

This problem with BT (along with a few others) that seem to show just how incompetent BT are at times has pushed my ISP to look into otherĀ  wholesale LLU providers, as an extra option on the BT infrustructure. Although I’m not exactly a fan of some LLU providers from what I’ve seen of BT, could they possibly be worse? probably not.

just to note: this isn’t the case that this problem existed, I can deal with that, technology has it’s problems. What I can’t deal with, is companies like BT that have sole control over fixing them, saying there isn’t a problem when they have been given the evidence to show that there is a problem.

I will be looking forward to the FTTC rollout, and will be testing it. Lets hope BT can do a better job with that than they have done with 21CN

———————–
edit:
BT Have finally fixed my line (actually they did this last week) and everything has been working again, and of-course I’m getting my full download-speeds again. still – I’m waiting for FTTC and my ISP have signed up for Be* LLU wholesale – so I may switch to this to get away from BT for a short while. – This turned out to not be a bug in the code, but they had over filled the pipes from Basingstoke…. Thanks BT, Nice going…

A Lack of Internet

Ok, so over the past week I’ve been moving house, as some of you may know, However, what this means is there has been no or little Internet at home. I have been able to get online with a mobile “Broadband” dongle, but it’s speed has been varying between completely unusable and completely unbearable. And yes, there is a difference, one allows you to send a message once an hour…

Anyway, if you know me, you’ll also know that I spend my life online. So a week without Internet is like torture for me. One would think that it would give me time to sort some other things out, and to some extent this maybe true, as I now have DVB-S2 card in my media system, but other than setting that up, I really have just been going completely nuts without the internet. But the internet came online on Wedesday, and this is great, after updating all my systems with latest patches, and upgrading the media system, this has had some nice changes, that I’ll go into in another blog.

Not having the Internet for a few days has taught me 1 thing. That is, how much we have come to rely on it. The connection I now have probably costs more than most of yours, as I’ve opted for a business grade line that is with probably the most expensive provider, however, I chose them, because I know them, they’re fantastic, and I’m yet to hear a bad word about them. You get what you pay for.

well, enough for now, I think I have some work to be doing, oh and I need tea bags!

There’s no place like ::1

With the move of house, comes a lot of other movements of technology. At the old place, I was on Virgin Media’s Broadband, Although I did not have any problems with them, I do know people that had more than their fair share. I think in the course of 2 years my line went down for a total of 2 minutes, and I think that’s fairly acceptable. However, it lacks on some features. Dynamic IPv4 address (and only 1) means I had to write some rather complex scripts, due to my server blocking SSH access from anywhere unless it’s a “Known Location”. These locations normally consist of my place of work, my place of home, and my parents houses for when I visit them.

Although IPv4 is being exhausted, many people are still using it, in fact, pretty much everyone on the Internet is using IPv4 in one way or another. For me, my new connection has a /28 mask of address’s, call me selfish, but this does give all my machines external IP’s, and then I’m NAT-ing Wifi connections, because they don’t need external address’s. It also has Native IPv6 on the new line. there is still very much a case of “No one’s using IPv6 so we don’t support it” and also “many things still don’t support it, so I don’t have IPv6″. In my 2 years working at Dyalog, I have moved our internal systems to IPv6, and so far 50% of our servers are on IPv6. The interpreter received it’s required changes to support IPv6 in version 12, and some of these will be improved in 12.1, and this improvement will most likely be on-going.

So, to IPv6, and who supports it? well, Google have had IPv6 work going on for a long time now, and you have been able to access http://ipv6.google.com to run your web searches. however they only resolve www.google.com as an IPv6 address if your ISP has registered with them. I can understand this to some extent, but on the other hand, it might hold things back, as there’s alot of people beating their ISP’s to IPv6 with Tunneling over IPv4. Google here have proved that a move to IPv6 can be done without too much effort, providing you can release resources into the change, and you have a good firewall, Remember NAT is not a firewall.

What about ISP’s, what are they doing about IPv6? well Andrews and Arnold seem to be among the few ISP’s offering native IPv6 in the UK, I believe there is currently no more than 3 ISP’s offering such service. Why? maybe they don’t see the point because not many sites are using it yet. Well, here’s some news, every site I run, has IPv6, that is my personal sites and company sites, Google also have IPv6. so what are we waiting for?

Consumer devices is where my attention is grabbed, Can you name a single off-the-shelf Consumer grade router / modem that supports IPv6? I can not. and I can’t see someone at home spending thousands on Cisco gear to have IPv6. My solution to this was to buy a consumer-grade Asus WL-500gp router, and flash it’s firmware with Linux. This now gives me IPv6, along with IP4 and IP6 firewalls that I am personally comfortable with configuring.

Maybe the big problem here with ISP’s supporting IPv6 is that the consumer devices do not yet support such a thing, this means it is completely pointless having the ISP’s support it. IPv6 is moving forwards, and in the last year or 2 there has been some very big movements. unfortunately, these movements are no going fast enough, and until consumer devices support IPv6 this movement will be on a slow trickle. we only need one or two big ISP’s to start supporting IPv6 in the UK for it to take off like a rocket over here, so maybe this is a cry to the manufacturers of the consumer devices to support IPv6 so the ISP’s can also support it.

Get on the IPv6 bandwagon, this is a vote for IPv6 move forward.